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San Jose CA theft charges attorneyThere are many times in which certain words can be interchanged and used in place of one another. When you are dealing with the law, it is crucial that wording is precise, so as to avoid as much confusion as possible. While you are pretty much able to use theft, robbery and burglary in the same context in normal conversation, they mean three very different things when you are speaking in the context of the law. They are separate charges that each come with their own punishments. If you have been charged with theft, robbery or burglary, it is important to know what exactly you have been charged with and the consequences for that charge.

Theft

Two terms that are interchangeable in California law are theft and larceny. California law states that larceny occurs when a person takes, steals, carries, leads or drives away the personal property of another person. There are many ins and outs of theft in California -- the punishments vary greatly depending on the type of objects that were taken and the value of those objects. Typically, grand theft can carry a prison sentence of up to a year and a monetary fine. Petty theft can carry a $1,000 fine, six months in county jail or both.

Robbery

According to California law, theft is defined as the felonious taking of personal property that is in possession of another person and in his immediate presence, accomplished by means of force or fear. Fear can mean the fear of unlawful injury to the person who is robbed, relatives or family members of that person, or anyone in that person’s company. Punishment for robbery can vary. If the person robbed a dwelling alongside two or more other people, they could be looking at three, six or nine years in the state prison. In cases other than that, a person who commits robbery will be facing three, four or six years in state prison.

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San Jose, CA evading police charges defense lawyerWhen you see red and blue lights flashing behind you, you probably get a nervous, dreadful feeling in your stomach. In situations like these, our fight or flight response is initiated, but listening to your instinct telling you to flee the situation is one of the worst possible things you can do. If a police officer is trying to pull you over it is illegal for you to try to outrun them or flee from them, and you can get into serious trouble for doing so. If you attempt to flee or evade a police officer, you could be facing jail time, fines and even a driver’s license suspension.

California Vehicle Code Offenses

There are technically four offenses that you can be charged with if you attempt to flee or evade a police officer. California Vehicle Code VEH 2800 contains information about each separate offense.

Evading a Police Officer -- VEH 2800.1

According to the code, you are guilty of a misdemeanor when you evade or attempt to elude a police officer if all of the following conditions are true:

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San Jose CA hit and run lawyerNobody plans for a car accident to happen, so when it does, it can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you are not sure what to do when you get into an accident. The one thing you should never do if you are in an accident is leave the scene of the accident without exchanging information with the other driver. If you do, you could be charged with a hit-and-run offense, which can carry some pretty serious consequences. Hit-and-run charges are no joke and should be handled by a skilled lawyer who has experience defending against these charges.

Felony and Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run Charges

There are two different types of hit-and-run charges in California: felony and misdemeanor charges. You can be charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run if all of the following were present:

  • You left the scene of an accident;
  • You did not leave any information to the other party or parties involved; and
  • Another person’s property was damaged in the accident.

A hit-and-run charge does not usually become a felony until another party is injured or killed in the accident and you leave the scene without leaving any identifying information. Even if there is no damage to anyone’s property or no bodily injury, you can still be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, though the offense will most likely result in a fine.

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San Jose, CA gun chrage lawyerFor the past couple of years, gun laws have been a much-favored topic of discussion among politicians, scholars and the general public. Some people think that gun laws should be strengthened, and others think the current gun laws violate the Second Amendment, which gives us the right to bear arms. California, a historically Democratic state, has passed several new gun laws that will go into effect in 2019. 

AB 2103: Firearm Training for Concealed Carry

This gun law puts new training requirements for those who want to obtain a concealed carry license. Currently, the laws say that the training course must not exceed 16 hours and must cover firearm safety and permissible use of a firearm. Under the new law, the training must be at least 8 hours, but no more than 16 hours long. The course must also include firearm handling and shooting techniques. Applicants will also be required to demonstrate the shooting proficiency and ability to safely handle a gun.

AB 1968: Mental Health and Firearm Ownership

This law puts a lifetime ban on gun ownership for people who have been involuntarily admitted to a mental institution more than once within a one-year period because they were deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. This law goes into effect at the end of 2019 and will also allow those who do not qualify for this reason to appeal the decision every five years.

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San Jose CA reckless driving charges lawyerSome people may think that a reckless driving charge is no big deal, but in reality, a reckless driving charge can seriously impact your life. Not only can you face criminal charges for reckless driving, but you can also face license suspension, fines and an increase in your insurance rates. Even though reckless driving is still a traffic offense, it has much more serious consequences than a simple speeding ticket or other traffic violation.

What is Reckless Driving?

California VEH 23103 is the portion of the vehicle code that deals with reckless driving. According to the vehicle code, reckless driving occurs when a person is driving a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” You can be charged with reckless driving in a variety of situations. These can including:

  • Excessive speeding;
  • Weaving;
  • DUI;
  • Street racing; and
  • Hit-and-run accidents.

Sentencing for Reckless Driving

In California, a basic reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor and can result in a minimum of five days and a maximum of 90 days in prison and a fine between $145 and $1,000. If the reckless driving incident resulted in death or bodily injury or you have a prior reckless driving charge on your record, those penalties will most likely increase. 

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